I've been given serious thought to how I'd implement the "10x as much treasure but magic is 10x as expensive" approach to loot.
- All loot amounts are 10x as high as written in pre-written adventures.
- All loot on treasure generation tables is 10x as high. Values of items are not 10x as high - if you want 10x the value, put 10x the stuff!
- Permanent magic items, items that convey spells (scrolls), and potions cost, and are worth, 10x listed or $200/point of energy.
- Starting Wealth is unchanged.
The real questions on "x10 cost for magic" are:
- Magic-like concoctions. Is Alchemist's Fire $100 or $1,000? How about clearly magical poisons, etc.?
- Paut. Does Paut remain $135, as a "mundane" item, or $1,350, as a "magical" item? My lean is toward "magical." It's a bottle of magical energy replacement. Healing potions - also clearly magical - would cost $1,200 for a Minor Healing Potion.
- Power Items. Recharging would need to cost $50/point, not $5/point. But would Power Items use the scale listed when access to high-value mundane items is 10x higher? A $1,000 item is 8 FP, but a $10,000 item is 25 FP (7 and 20 if you also use the numbers as minimums.) PCs would have access to power items frequently 3-5x as large. That might be an acceptable increase in power since warrior-types will have much more ready access to mundane arms of quality.
- Spells in town. Does it cost $150,000 for Resurrection and $10,000 for Remove Curse? If not, healing in town is trivial. If it does, it's no easier than before.
My lean on these are:
-No, 10x cost is for magical items.
- Paut is 10x cost. Players of wizards will squawk at this, hard. Maybe enough to scuttle the entire idea. Logically, saying you get $10,000 in loot instead of $1,000 on a given delve and spent $2,700 replacing 2 Paut instead of $270 is still a net benefit - you end up with $7,300 to spend on mundane costs. But sticker shock at higher Paut prices will probably upset players badly. It's one thing is Paut costs less than upkeep; it's another if it costs more than suits of armor.
- Power items use the stricter table reading - $50 and up is 1 FP, not $50 and below. Cost to charge is 10x. The benefit to mages of larger power items means casters will generally be able to get off larger spells, or more lesser ones, even if they're not willing to pay for "more expensive" Paut.
- Spells cast in town are also 10x cost. That's why Resurrection isn't common, it's $500 per energy point and thus $150,000 . . . 150 times average wealth.
- Coins are heavier - 50/pound like in DF/DFRPG not 250/pound like in DF Felltower - and are still on the silver standard ($0.10 copper, $1 silver, $20 gold). Jewelry prices adjust accordingly with silver being $50/pound and gold $1,000/pound instead of DF8's $1,000/pound and $20,000/pound or the middle ground of my current game's $250 and $5,000 to the pound.
This has the upside of making carrying coinage a logistical issue. It has the downside of making weaponry very valuable loot - two pounds of silver coins is $100 but a two pound shortsword costs $400 and sells for $160 with average wealth, making it worth $80/pound. "Leave the cash, take the mundane weaponry" has its charms but it's also kind of out-of-genre.
A bit of an alternate approach is the "A lot of money back then" approach. Cut all mundane prices by 10. You start with $100, Broadswords cost $50, a staff is $1, Upkeep is $15 . . . both otherwise everything is the same. It's not nearly as fun as giant piles of loot, though.
Any other edge cases (or critical cases) that I haven't noticed?
- One of my players asked about Bottomless items - purses, backpacks, etc. given that coinage drops in effective value. Price is 10x, as any other magic item. Capacity is unchanged. They're "purses" but they'd get used for equipment far more often than for cash. If we changed coins from 250/pound to 50/pound that would make them less useful per-pound of capacity for carrying coinage, but a) more useful because of more weight of coin and b) more valuable for carrying non-coin items that have a better cost-per-pound.
- I'd also drop to the DFRPG standard of $100 per potion in town - but it would be $1,000 per. Specific potion type doesn't matter - the alchemists don't trust you and they're guild workers and have set prices.
- Another sticking point - if you wanted to do this after play began, how would you do so? What happens to the value of items held, cash on hand, etc.? Simple answer is 10x as much, so as not to hurt those that saved vs. those that spent on now-10x as expensive items. But someone will inevitably lose out based on purchases and savings approaches.